Supporting Teachers’ Understanding of Nature of Science and Inquiry Through Personal Experience and Perception of Inquiry as a Dynamic Process

Michal Zion, Renee S. Schwartz, Esther Rimerman-Shmueli, Idit Adler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

One of today’s challenges in science education involves the development of appropriate conceptions of inquiry teaching and realizing how these experiences can support students’ understanding of the nature of science and inquiry (NOS and NOSI). To meet this challenge, we developed a course for in-service science teachers, in which explicit-reflective instruction of NOS was coupled with an open inquiry process. This process included documentation tools adjusted to emphasize the dynamic, logical, and reflective aspects of scientific inquiry. Teachers’ documentations, reflections, and questionnaires were examined for indications of perceptual connection between comprehending the essence of dynamic open inquiry and understanding certain NOS tenets. The results indicated that the in-service teachers experienced all criteria of dynamic open inquiry, however not to the same extent. By focusing on four teachers who clearly addressed changes in their perspective of NOS and NOSI, we were able to examine the nature of those changes, and relate them to the teachers’ personal experiences and perceptions of the characteristics of dynamic open inquiry. Our results suggest that the participants’ personal experiences and perceptions of the dynamic characteristics of open inquiry play a crucial role in shaping their understanding of NOS and NOSI. The findings of this research underscore the importance of enhancing teachers’ personal experiences and perceptions of the dynamic characteristics of open inquiry, as a vehicle to improve their understanding of NOS and NOSI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1281-1304
Number of pages24
JournalResearch in Science Education
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dynamic inquiry performances
  • Nature of science (NOS)
  • Nature of scientific inquiry (NOSI)
  • Open inquiry
  • Reflection
  • Teachers’ professional development

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